African countries return, burn Covid-19 vaccines amid shortage

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JUBA – The National Taskforce on Covid-19 in South Sudan will return 7,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVAX facility ahead of their expiry Payuka has learnt.

The country received 132,000 doses in late March from COVAX and will now return the doses to be used by other countries before expiry.

The decision was arrived at after South Sudan’s Ministry of health discussed with the World Health Organisation.

Last week, Malawi destroyed nearly 20,000 doses of expired coronavirus vaccines in a move the country’s ministry of health said was to assure citizens that they would not be vaccinated with expired doses.

The event in the South African country was witnessed by the media, the Country’s Anti Corruption Bureau, National Audit Office and the Malawi Police.

The expired vials were physically counted before they were loaded into the incinerator and then set ablaze.

Malawi received 102,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax in late March and had used around 80 percent of them.

The case was different in Nairobi as the government of Kenya announced plans to halt administration of the second jab after the it ran out of Covid-19 doses.

So far, about 950,000 people in Kenya have received the jab that gives them protection from the coronavirus. 

Vaccine hesitancy hampered inoculation drives Africa, and reports of safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine spread by some European countries further increased the fear.

The World Health Organization had however originally told countries not to get rid of expired vaccines but has since changed its guidance.


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